Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dr. Bradstreet was NOT Anti-Vaccine

Its sad that the state of journalism today is nothing but sensationalism and a massive lack of fact checking. To all the news outlets posting the false headline that Dr. Bradstreet was anti-vaccine: sorry but you are all wrong!

Dr. Bradstreet was trained in western medicine. He holds an MD, MD(H) and FAAFP. He vaccinated his children. The issue is not necessarily the vaccines, its the children. We are all asking the wrong questions!

Back in 1980 the occurrence of Autism was about 1 in 10,000 and since then has steadily increased in prevalence to about 1 in 62 and in boys, that number is about 1 in 44. If this is not an epidemic, then I don't know what is.

We know that vaccines have been given to the US population for decades. Many of these vaccines have not changed much since they were first introduced. Currently there are more vaccines given to children then there were in the past - something like 42 vaccines before the age of 6. But still, the vast majority of American children do not have autism at the moment. So maybe we are looking at the issue all wrong?

I think we need to look at the children that are diagnosed as autistic or on the spectrum. There are many commonalities found in their genetic make-up, blood work and gut biome. What we tend to see is that a huge majority of these children have the MTHFR gene mutation. MTHFR is one of many genes involved in the methylation process. Methylation is an essential function in the body which creates glutathione (the chemical involved in detoxification of the body). In addition, these children on the spectrum have gut dysbiosis which leads to an increase in yeast. Yeast is known to contribute to inflammation and neuropsychiatric symptoms in addition to many other detrimental syndromes plaguing our modern society.

The modern diet does not help this situation either. I am not going to delve into the problems with the diet in the US in this post. I will save it for a subsequent post but it is a crucial ingredient to this epidemic.

Back to methylation. When the body can not produce enough glutathione, it can not detox properly. When the body can not rid itself of the toxic chemicals it ingests, absorbs, breathes in, etc. through everyday exposure, they build up inside of our organs. When you add vaccines into the equation the toxic burden of these vulnerable children can become too much for their bodies to process and a tipping point is reached.

There is a website called VAERS where people can record injuries that they have sustained due to vaccines. Vaccine injury is real. It happens. Maybe not to everyone, but its not a myth. Many parents of autistic children report that after a vaccination, their child regressed, became ill and then was eventually diagnosed as ASD.

I am not necessarily saying that there is a conspiracy or that the medical community is out to harm us. What I am saying is that THEY are not asking the right questions. THEY are not researching these children and the commonalities that they all possess.

Dr. Bradstreet, on the other hand, WAS. He was making connections where there previously weren't any and he was seeing results when treating methylation and the gut biome, among other things.

I stand by my word. Show me a child he harmed. I have not seen nor heard anything about his treatment but success stories. Mine included.

Keep in mind when you read the national news stories about this "controversial" doctor and this "anti-vaccination" proponent. They did not know this man and they are just re-reporting stories that originated from a source that did not have the facts. There is a ton of misinformation swirling around right now and there are many ignorant and insensitive people fueling this fire.

It is not my responsibility to address all this misinformation (even though I want to). I must rest knowing full well that Dr. Bradstreet was a visionary who looked at science from an angle that modern medicine refuses to do. He was decades ahead of where the accepted research currently is.

His loss can not be put into words. Once again, I will not dive into the conspiracy theories out there. I just want to point out that the media is labeling this man as something he was NOT. He was one of the brightest minds in medicine today.

Maybe there will be learnings from his death. Maybe researchers will start looking at this sub-set of vulnerable children to see how vaccines are affecting THEM. I will reiterate for those that may decide to mince my words, that I do not believe its the vaccines that cause autism, its something in these children that predisposes them to a toxic overload and the inability to clear their sytems of it. Vaccines may very well be the tipping point for many of these children and we need to develop a way to pre-screen them (from infancy) so that we can identify the at-risk population and prevent ASD from taking even more of our precious babies from us.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our Hearts are Broken

My son's doctor, a brilliant, forward thinking MD and researcher passed away last Thursday, June 19th 2015. To say we are devastated is just touching the tip of the iceberg. His death has left the PANDAS/PANS and Autism community with a huge hole that can not be filled. Dr. James Jeffrey Bradstreet gave families with children such as mine, HOPE for a full recovery.

When we first met him about a year and a half ago, we were immediately taken into his practice as part of the family. He treated my son and I with respect. My son immediately warmed up to him, sat on his lap and felt at home. Normally, my son would be afraid and not want to even speak to a doctor, let alone sit on his lap! I knew from that moment on, we were in good hands.

Dr. Bradstreet did lots of testing on Cole and based on the results and his extensive knowledge of the gut/brain connection, put us on a path to healing. Everything he prescribed was based on SCIENCE. Real SCIENCE backed by peer reviewed studies.

In the short year and a half we were with him, we were able to clean up my son's gut and reduce his vocal tics to a negligible amount. Any time we had a crisis moment, I was able to text Dr. Bradstreet and he would answer, even if it was the weekend or if he was out of town traveling for a conference. He never made us wait. I felt secure that no matter what, he would have a plan to get us out of the crisis.

Dr. Bradstreet dared to look into subjects that mainstream doctors would not consider. He was attacked for this and his methods and therapies were questioned or called pseudo-science. My comment to that is "If his therapies were based in pseudoscience, then why was he able to recover hundreds if not thousands of children over his 40 year career?" Please, answer me this! How was he able to provide remarkable gains in the lives of autistic children all over the world if his ideas and research were not proven?

Chemo therapy is "proven" to kill cancer cells. It's "real" science. However, it's a death sentence to many who choose to take this path in cancer treatment. There are MANY PROVEN pharmaceutical treatments out there that do more harm to the human body than good but we still trust and believe in them because the scientific community bases their effectiveness on studies that SAY they are effective.

What about real life? Are we not able to look at the real life results that this doctor has achieved? Are the testimonies of his patients (hundreds and hundreds of them) not sufficient to show that what he was providing these children was working? Is his work not worthy of studying?

I can tell you that before I even saw Dr. Bradstreet, I had changed my son's diet, added in supplements, vitamins, detoxed him from candida and more "pseudo-scientific" protocols for healing. What I did, took a a child that could not function and brought him back to a smart, happy and thoughtful 5 year old. Maybe my story is anecdotal but you know what? I DON'T CARE. I only care about results. You can throw study after study in my face and tell me nothing out there in the pharmaceutical world will be able to rid my son of his tics (that is what our neurologist told us). But when I am able to take a biomedical approach to his care and actually SEE RESULTS, then to me that is not pseudoscience. That is the REAL DEAL.

The more convincing part of this story is that my son is not anecdotal. Dr. Bradstreet was able to replicate his positive results in many many children by individualizing their treatments because he understood that every child is different and has a different set of genes and has been affected by their environment in unique ways.

Call him a quack, call him what you like but if you had a child that was not being served effectively by western medicine, I am sure you would seek alternative treatments. If these alternative treatments actually worked then I bet you would be a believer.

The difference with Dr. Bradstreet from some other alternative doctors out there is that he was educated in western medicine. He was an MD, MD (H), FAAFP. I have never encountered a mind more brilliant, more visionary and more dedicated to healing children in my life. When he suffered through the illness of his own son, he was changed. He realized that the western medical community was not offering solutions to the autism problem/epidemic that we face in this country. Western medicine is not providing any answers! There is no known cause for autism, only hypotheses. Dr. Bradstreet's love for his child overcame these boundaries and he sought answers where there were none. We must celebrate a person like this. A person that doesn't take the staus quo and accept it with its limitations. He pushed on, researched and made connections in areas of science that are not being currently explored.

Dr. Bradstreet was the ultimate advocate for our children. This loss is a tremendous one and we mourn him as if he were a part of our family. James Jeffrey Bradstreet was a man of God and a believer. Above all, he knew who he belonged to and he answered his call here on Earth. He served faithfully until the day he died.

At this point in time we do not know all the circumstances surrounding his death. What I can say is that he was found in the Rocky Broad River in NC with a gunshot wound to his chest. If this man was suffering silently from the intense pressure of his work, this was not apparent to his patients or his family.

I spoke to him on Tuesday June 16th on the phone and we were discussing further testing for my son. He was his cheerful, positive self. He joked with me as usual and gave me no indication that anything was "wrong". According to his family, there seems to be many questions surrounding his death that need answers. I will continue to pray that the answers are found. I will not speculate or add to the swirl of theories. All I can say is that our world has been rocked and our sense of security has been taken from us.

I trusted Dr. Bradstreet with my son's life and now we must find a replacement for someone who is irreplaceable.

REST IN PEACE Dr. Bradstreet, may your life's work not be forgotten.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Where we are right now according to PANDAS/PANS

Its been a very long year and I know I have not updated anyone on how my son is faring but tonight I have the time and the need to share his progress.

Ever since his diagnosis of PANDAS/PANS in Nov 2013 we have been trying to figure out how to reduce the tics because they became a pretty constant staple in our daily lives. We put him on daily antibiotics for 7 months to kill the strep infection that he acquired in Nov 2013 but his tics did not go away. They reduced in severity but they were still very present all day long. The daily antibiotics (as I now realize) were not the right decision. But I was in a state of panic and needed relief so I did what I thought was best.

In the end, the 2 supplements that I will talk about now have been  the catalyst for real change in my son's condition. First: BRAVO Probiotic. Because of all the antibiotics, my son's gut was a mess. He had yeast again and lots of bad bacteria. He even had clostridia. Once I started him on the BRAVO all his vocal tics resolved. I almost didn't believe it could be real because I had been living with them for so long but by the middle of the summer 2014 I knew that his gut must have healed. We did a follow up OAT test and knew for sure that the yeast was gone and so was the clostridia along with the vocal tics! What an obvious connection. You can read more about BRAVO here.

What we were left with was a whole mess of motor tics. Head nods, knee knocks, eye blinks, lip pouts, arm flaps, etc. I noticed that these would increase after exercise, being outside, exposed to pollen, temperature changes or offending foods. One night I was reading all about mast cell activation disorder and it seemed that my son fit the description to a T.

Mast cells are the body's first line of defense when it comes to allergens. Once they sense an allergen is present, they release histamine which then causes an inflammatory response.The inflammation is what was allowing his basal ganglia to be constantly attacked.  In normal functioning bodies, the excess histamine is processed by an enzyme called DAO (diamine oxidase). In Cole's situation his mast cells were over acting and releasing histamine all the time. He needed a way to reduce this load and I started supplementing him with DAO under the brand name HISTAME. You can buy it here .

Within one week of supplementing with the HISTAME almost all of his motor tics resolved! We are now 4 and a half months virtually tic free. I haven't seen anything like this in 2 years. I can't even believe it. I am so afraid to believe it. But I know I have to share this because so many others out there are searching for answers and the medical community is just not up to speed with these types of disorders in children. In fact, the majority of pediatricians have never heard of or do not believe in PANDAS/PANS at all. Thus, parent's like me must seek out doctors that specialize in this and in most cases do not take insurance and charge $450+ an hour.

Where PANDAS/PANS is concerned, no two children are a like. But there are common denominators in many cases and if any of these symptoms mirror your child, please seek care from an integrative MD that believes in PANDAS/PANS. Do the research and get on latitudes.org. There is a wealth of information out there but most don't even know where to begin.

Right now, we are reclaiming our lives! Cole is amazing. He is in 1st grade, gifted and athletic. He has many friends and is learning a 2nd language. I can not be more proud of who he is. Throughout this entire journey, he and his brother have exemplified the true meaning of poise and grace. Me, on the other hand was a wreck and did not know how to handle anything. What I did do right was to take all my negative energy and focus it on finding healing for my son. I do think we are finally on that path. I don't think we are completely out of the woods but I think we have uncovered the key to his healing and with the help of some very amazing integrative physicians and homeopaths and we inch closer every day. 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Winning the War of the Mind - GMO's

Here is an objective look at the GMO debate (I know its coming from me but I am trying to be as objective as possible here). Right now there is a huge disconnect between what the bio tech folks are saying and what the anti-GMO folks are hearing. You can read it all over the internet in threads from articles about GMOs (both for and against). The reason for this disconnect are the motivating factors behind the beliefs. Let's look at the anti-GMO folks. Their big motivation is fear. Fear of disease, of allergies, of neurological disorders, of environmental disaster, of corporate monopolies of paid politicians, of the unknown. Fear is a huge motivator. Especially when you have children. Many of the anti's (as they so lovingly call us) are parents and now have the responsibility of protecting our offspring the best we can. One of the biggest ways we can control this is by what we give our children to eat and if there is a shred of doubt as to the safety of a certain product, we will not give it to our kids. We don't need to drown ourselves in scientific studies to create or assuage this fear either, frankly, its human nature and this is very important to understand.

Now lets look at the pro-science guys (I'm supposed to call them that because pro-GMO isn't fair apparently). What is their motivator? What motivates them to spend HOURS upon HOURS refuting the anti claims, slamming studies down their throats and claiming they know more than anyone else on the subject? I would suppose its money. I mean, no sane person would spend that much time on this unless there was some reward or paycheck at the end of it all. I have come to find that most of these pro-science folks work for bio techs, food companies or chemical companies and the like. The know that the burden of proof lies with them otherwise they will be out of a job. They work hard at trying to prove with scientific studies (double blind, peer reviewed) that GMOs are safe, do not increase the use of herbicides, benefit the farmer, feed the starving and are sustainable. However, whether that is all true or not is not the issue, the issue is their delivery. They come off as condescending, smug, glib and downright pompous. They insult the intelligence of the anti's by calling them anti-science when frankly, this is just not true. These bio tech folks need to take a page out of a marketing text book and realize that they need to start appealing to the fears of the anti's and stop attacking them with character insults. This derogatory behavior only leads to strengthening the anti's position and making them distrust the bio techs even more.

So to summarize, its really the way the pro-science guys are speaking to the anti-GMO crowd that seems to be the issue. The key for them will not be with their science, it will be with psychology. But they don't seem to know or understand that and therefore they will most likely lose this battle. I do believe there is a huge food revolution growing right now and its in the opposite direction of where the GMO's are going. (OK this last part wasn't so objective....sorry, it is a green blog after all ;))

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Things Were Not What They Seemed

So I spent all that time telling you all how much progress I made with my son and how I basically healed him and his tics ceased. Well, its true we really did "get there" ......until November. Early this November my son's tics started showing themselves again. They were mild at first and I fussed with his diet thinking he developed another food allergy. I thought I had figured it out and removed strawberries from his diet and things seemed to get better. However, after two days his tics came on full force with a fury I haven't seen since May. I was terrified and confused. All the work I had put into healing my son, what was it for? I felt like a lie, a farce. How could I have written this blog so sure that I accomplished something that doctors deem impossible? Well, the truth lies somewhere in between.

I took both my boys to their regular pediatrician for a check up and on a whim I asked her to give my son a throat culture. She didn't understand why I was asking because he felt fine, ears, nose and throat were unremarkable and he did not have a fever or a cough. But low and behold the test came back positive for strep and she looked at me and asked how Cole's tics were. I mentioned how they had skyrocketed in the past week and then it hit me - he may have PANDAS.

Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep is a controversial disorder that many doctors either don't believe in or don't know enough about it or how to treat it. The National Institute of Health has been investigating cases of PANDAS for the past 12 years and has made progress in their research but a diagnostic test to confirm this disorder still does not exist. Instead its more of a clinical diagnosis made based on symptoms and response to antibiotics.

Many cases of PANDAS experience a sudden onset of either OCD or tics or both. However the range of neuropsychiatric symptoms is much greater. But in all cases the child is making strep antibodies that instead of attacking the bacteria are actually attacking the basal ganglia in their brain - causing the OCD/tics. So when a child becomes infected with strep the antibodies increase and the neuronal damage occurs.

Doctors have identified other bacteria/viruses that can cause the same effect in children as the strep bacteria does. These cases are being called PANS or PITAND but the common denominator in all of these cases is that these neurological conditions are brought on by an autoimmune reaction.

Even scarier is the belief that potentially 25% of all children diagnosed with OCD/Tourettes or ASD could in fact have PANDAS but are just not being treated for it.

Thankfully our Holistic MD (Dr. Taz) is well versed in PANDAS and gave Cole a blood test to confirm what we already believed. It came back showing elevated ASO and Anti dNase-B titres which meant his body was producing strep antibodies in response to the strep infection and this all coincided with his sharp increase in tics.

We put him on amoxicillan and then switched to keflex and over a period of 10 days we saw a dramatic reduction in his tics. He is almost back to baseline now and I feel relieved that we have a better understanding of what is going on inside his body.

All the work I did on his diet/yeast/methylation was perfect as we come to find out. Diet is half the battle for these kids with PANDAS. All foods causing inflammation must be removed and poor methylation addressed.

But the bigger question is WHY are these little kids having autoimmune disorders? Why is this happening to our children? I will address this in my next blog post. For now, know that we have come a long way and with God's guidance we have uncovered the source of my son's tics. I feel blessed that we are finally on the right path to healing.

Friday, October 25, 2013

GF/CF and Corn Free Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins are dense but delicious!!!!! My kids can not get enough of them and I'm going to have to make another batch just to keep up with their appetite! Plus, they are perfect for the season as we all love some pumpkin, right?

1 1/2 C raw cane sugar (I used a little less than 1C and they were just the right amount of sweetness)
1/4 tsp baking powder (Hain corn free baking powder)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1 2/3 C Gluten/Corn free flour (Sugar and Spice Market Brand)
1/2 C coconut oil
1 C canned organic pumpkin

Mix dry ingredients
Mix wet ingredients separately
Combine and beat until smooth (use stand mixer if possible)

I make mini muffins and bake @ 350 for 13-15 mins

If you make this recipe - let me know how it turned out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Get Your Kids to Eat Cauliflower

This is a very easy recipe and it tastes great!

Buy a head of cauliflower and chop it up into little florets. Spread them out on tinfoil and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over all the florets and roast in the oven at 450 for about 15 minutes or until they start to brown (don't burn them). Take them out and put into a food processor. Chop them for 5 -10 seconds or until they are the consistency of rice. Top with sea salt or spices your kids will love. My son loves sea salt. I tell him its a new type of rice and he eats it up! He asks for it every night now!

I am actually able to give him 2 veggies on his plate with dinner now.


Credit for this recipe: my friend Shannon from SC